I wish I could have been with Hiro as he stood in front of this building. For years upon years, I’ve seen him flick through and refer to this book. The Seagram Building emblazoned on the cover.
The Seagram Building in Manhattan, New York needs little introduction. It is an architectural masterpiece. With its heavyweight design background, provenance and sublime delivery, it created a precedent in modern architecture. The architect was the maestro Mies van der Rohe. Philip Johnson oversaw the interiors and the lighting designer was Richard Kelly (the godfather of architectural lighting design).
Completed in 1958, this 38 story structure of steel and glass was the most expensive building in the world. Understandable when the materials used included bronze, marble and travertine.
The Seagram Building is an elegant and exemplary masterclass of design at any given moment. But at night, when the external fabric is revealed in silhouette, the building with the exuberance of a lantern – glows with refinement. Dieter Rams highlighted timelessness as being a vital principle of good design and the Seagram is precisely that. Timeless even in the midst of progression. I’m sure every architect attempting to make their mark in New York, tips their hat in respect when they pass this building.
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